James Posey Signs with New Orleans, Hornets Aquire a Lock-Down Defender

TJ ZwarychSenior Writer IJuly 16, 2008

This article is also posted at hoops4life.com, an NBA fan site.

Breaking news out of New Orleans—one team gets stronger while one gets weaker.

The New Orleans Hornets have signed forward/guard James Posey to a four-year $25 million contract. This means the Hornets will have a great defender backing up Peja Stojakovic at the three, or possibly bumping Peja down to the two and sending Mo Pete to the bench.

Posey is strongest on the defensive side of the ball, but can also drain the long ball. His going to the Hornets means that the Celtics will be losing one of their best defensive players, and one of their biggest deep threats.

Posey is a 31-year-old veteran who has won two championships in the past few years, and will bring leadership to this young Hornets squad. One of his rings came just last year with the Celtics, and the other with D-Wade, Shaq and the rest of the Miami Heat in 2006.

Posey struggled with the decision. It's an especially difficult decision to make after winning a championship with three superstars in Pierce, Garnett, and Allen.

Last season, the Hornets' biggest struggle was the inconsistency of their bench. Posey will hopefully be able to bring some consistency, outside shooting, and strong defence to a team that has a very legitimate chance of winning it all.

The Hornets were also considering signing Corey Maggette, Jarvis Hayes, and/or Eduardo Najera, but they thought Posey was a better fit.

Here are Posey's numbers from last season: 7.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, one steal per game and 0.3 of a block. Posey shot 42 percent from the field, 81 percent from the line, and 38 percent from beyond the arc.

TJ Zwarych is a columnist on Bleacher Report and also writes for Hoops4life.com and tosports.ca